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Lawmaker proposes firing squads for state executions

Jan 14, 2014 - By Ben Neary, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A Wyoming lawmaker is pushing to allow use of the firing squad to execute condemned state inmates if constitutional problems or other issues ever prevented the state from using lethal injection.

Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, said Monday that state law currently calls for using a gas chamber if lethal injection is unavailable.

"The state of Wyoming doesn't have a gas chamber currently, an operating gas chamber, so the procedure and expense to build one would be impractical to me," said Burns, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I consider frankly the gas chamber to be cruel and unusual, so I went with firing squad because they also have it in Utah," Burns said. He's introduced the bill for consideration in the legislative session that starts Feb. 10 in Cheyenne.

"One of the reasons I chose firing squad as opposed to any other form of execution is because frankly it's one of the cheapest for the state," Burns said. "The expense of building a gas chamber I think would be prohibitive when you consider how many people would be executed by it, and even the cost of gallows."

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Legislature, Wyoming